On the Impact of Satellite Communications over Mobile Networks: An Experimental Analysis

by   Engin Zeydan, et al.

Future telecommunication systems are expected to co-exist with different backhauling nodes such as terrestrial or satellite systems. Satellite connectivity can add flexibility to backhauling networks and provide an alternative route for transmission. This paper presents experimental comparisons of satellite and terrestrial cellular networks and evaluates their performances in terms of different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) including Channel Quality Index (CQI), Modulation Coding Scheme (MCS) index, Downlink throughput, Frame Utilization (FU) and number of Resource Block (RB) utilization ratios. Our experimental satellite network system uses a real satellite backhaul deployment and works in Ka band (with two specific sub-bands on 19 Ghz in downlink and 29 Ghz in uplink). As a benchmark, we compare our system with live terrestrial network in which backhaul connection is cellular backhaul. Our experiments reveal three main observations: First observation is that there exists FU and number of RB utilization problems in the satellite link even though there exists a single test user equipment (UE) with high CQI and MCS index values. Second observation is that in satellite link relatively low number of Protocol Data Units (PDUs) are generated at Radio Link Controller (RLC) layer compared to the Packet Data Convergence Control (PDCP) layer. Finally, our third observation concludes that the excessive existence of PDCP PDUs can be due to existence of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunneling Protocol-User Plane (GTP-U) accelerator where an optimal balance between the caching size and the number of UEs using satellite eNodeB is needed. For this reason, our experimental results reveal the existence of a trade-off between the supported number of users on satellite link and the GTP-U acceleration rate.


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